Leicester Runner Goes The Distance To Fight Blood Cancer
Kieran Doyle, from Leicester, went the extra mile to support blood cancer charity DKMS by completing the London Marathon’s 26.2 mile course on Sunday 28 April.
Kieran took on this challenge to raise awareness and vital funds for the charity that is dedicated to the fight against blood cancer through recruiting stem cell donors and providing second chances at life. Kieran completed the course in 4 hours, 14 minutes and has so far raised over £3000 and the funds will help to register more blood stem cell donors.
The main inspiration for Kieran is his cousin-in-law, Peter McCleave, who has been fighting myeloma, a form of blood cancer, since 2017. There is currently no match for Peter on the UK’s aligned stem cell registry, and he has been told unless they find a match, he has less than seven years to live.
Kieran said: “To give Peter the best shot of beating his blood cancer he needs to find a matching donor. That donor hasn’t been found yet. My best guess is that there’s a donor that almost doesn’t know the power they have to potentially help save a life. It goes without saying that a successful match is something that no funding or money can buy and we are praying that Peter finds his lifesaver.
“I’m proud to be running the London Marathon for DKMS who exist to find donor match for every person who needs one. Supporting me will help DKMS continue to do the incredible work they are doing and register even more donors.”
Kieran registered as a potential blood stem last year as part of Peter McCleave’s campaign to sign up 10,000 new prospective stem cell donors. So far over 22,000 people have been inspired by Peter’s story and taken the first steps to become a potential lifesaver-in-waiting.
Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer, such as leukaemia, myeloma or lymphoma. This means that, in the average time it takes for someone to complete the London Marathon (4:05:30), 12 people will be diagnosed with a blood cancer.
At any one time there are around 2,000 people in the UK in need of a blood stem cell transplant. Yet only one in three people with a blood cancer (and in need of a transplant) will find a matching blood stem cell donor within their own family – the rest will need to rely on a complete stranger to help save their life.
This could be you – if you are aged between 17 – 55 and in general good health take the first step to register as a blood stem cell donor by registering for your home swab kit at www.dkms.org.uk.
If you are identified as a matching donor for someone there are two methods through which you can donate your blood stem cells. In 90% of all donations its through the peripheral blood stem cell collection. This method is very similar to giving blood. It involves blood being taken from one of the donor’s arms and a machine separates the blood stem cells from it. The donor’s blood is then returned to them through their other arm. This is an outpatient procedure that is usually completed in 4-6 hours. The remaining 10% of donations are made through a bone marrow collection.
Caroline Richardson, Head of Fundraising at DKMS said: “A huge thank you to Kieran for going the extra mile to help the fight against blood cancer. We really appreciate all their efforts and delighted that they were able to complete the London Marathon in support of our cause.”
This year, eight people took on the London Marathon in support of DKMS, raising a total of more than £20,000 so far. It costs £40 to register each new potential donor and so, as a charity, DKMS relies on the generosity of supporters to raise money by taking on challenges like the London Marathon, organising fundraising events and making individual donations to the cause. Any funds you can donate, no matter the size, can make a huge difference and help to give blood cancer patients a second chance at life!